Friday, April 21, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 34: Any landform

Sent by a friend from Brittany, France
Sent 06 January 2014, Traveled 11.102 km

I marveled at beautiful cliffs during our recent holiday in Malta. Such a pity that I didn't get any postcard to take back for that! Here's one instead from France.

US-1229764, Sent from Utah, USA
Sent 26 July 2011, Traveled 12,346 km in 18 days

Here we have twin cliffs! It's very nice to the eyes to see the alternating bands of red and white layers on this postcard.

Private Swap, Sent from New Zealand,
Sent 31 October 2013, Traveled 8,288 km in 7 days

Lisa, the sender wrote: This is our lovely volcanic plateau of NZ ... It feels like a different world here; it's like stepping back in time to when the dinosaurs were here!

Anyone up for trekking? I'm pretty motivated by the sunny weather on these cards. However the forecast says it will be a rainy weekend in Helsinki. Too bad as the sun is coming out now here in Gothenburg and I thought, I could have just stayed here! But my flights are booked and my Finnish penpal whom I've been writing to since 2009 is waiting for me.

Have a lovely weekend everyone,
~maria


Friday, April 14, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 33: Spring, flower buds & blossoms, green foliage

I'm here in Frankfurt Airport, hoping to publish this post before the announcement of the call for boarding to Malta. My Dutch mom was half-shocked half-surprised as to why I'm going to Malta at this time of the year. She mentioned that the landscape will be dry and brown. I guess it should be an interesting change of scenery for me in contrast with Singapore that's always green

But for my blog at least, I'm pretty pleased to share these postcards for this weekend's theme:


Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Finland
Sent 15 June 2014, traveled 9,171 km
Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Finland
Sent 15 June 2014, traveled 9,171 km
FI-1997790, Sent from Finland
Sent 28 Jan 2014, Traveled 8,938 km in 18 days
NL-3558074, Sent from Netherlands,
Sent 3 Sep 2016, Traveled 10,453 km in 14 days

DE-8778042, Sent from Germany
Sent 2 Dec 2016, Traveled 10,347 km in 14 days

I've mentioned on a previous post that nature always offer me peace & serenity. Work has been extremely overwhelming again (it still is and I've managed to make it to my outbound flight!). Stealing time and searching for these postcards while preparing for this weekend's theme simulated for me in a way that feeling of being surrounded by nature. It gives me the chance to get into that space for introspection and reflection during this season of Lent. 

Wishing a Happy Easter in advance and solemn weekend ahead of us,
~maria







Friday, April 7, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 32: Whimsical and/or magical

I've been up to my neck with work and I almost forgot it's Friday!

For this weekend's theme I've picked three postcards to share:

Friendship Gift Postcard, from Finland
Sent 7 June 2014, traveled 9,171 km

I'm very happy to come across this postcard from my collection again and read the message at the back from my Finnish pen friend, Tuija. She translated the text, "Sometimes it's good to catch one's breath and enjoy the day enjoying one's self, leaving everyday worries behind, take it easy and be happy about the good things in life."

RU-537449, from Russia,
Sent 21 Aug 2011, traveled 8,260 km in 25 days

It looks so magical with the planets and stars in the background. I can't figure out the pink wall that the cats are leaning on though, is it supposed to be a wall?

DE-6024930, from the north of Germany
Sent 1 March 2017, traveled 10,102 km in 13 days

This is one of my most recently received postcards. Because of the black hood and veil of this woman, I always think of Bellatrix Lestrange (from the famous Harry Potter series) every time I look at the postcard.

Have a relaxing weekend folks!

~maria








Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Humorous or odd

 

Charlie Chaplin is fondly remembered in many countries. This stamp is issued on 12 April 2014 by the Ă–sterreichische Post in commemoration of his 125th birthday.

For humorous or odd @ See it on a postcard

~maria

Friday, March 31, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 31: Odd, fun, humorous

Private Swap, Sent from India
Sent 2 Sep 2012, Traveled 4,631 km in 25 days

For our odd, fun, and/or humorous theme this weekend.


Here is a traditional Rajasthani man with an oddly big mustache, a fun colorful turban, and an amazing smile.

Enjoy the weekend everyone!

~maria


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Flying


This miniature sheet is from a postcard that I sent to myself from my first business trip back in 2015. 

This special edition was issued back in 1998. According to wikipedia, this Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower was the tallest in the world when it was built. It monitors two runways for Kuala Lumpur International Airport (main and also referred as KLIA1) and KLIA2 (domestic). Currently this tower is only 3rd highest in the world. It has been overtaken by another tower monitoring a 3rd runway for KLIA2 and that in Suvarnabhumi International Airport - Bangkok.

Fly around the world today through Sunday Stamps @ See it on a postcard.

~maria

Friday, March 24, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 30: Cambodia

Postcard sent to self from Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Sent 4 Oct 2015, Traveled 1,148 km

Our theme for this weekend is a country that you would want to live in if you have the choice/chance.

To be honest I have several countries in Europe that I've always dreamed about for this theme. However, since my partner moved to Cambodia, I've been moving a lot back and forth. As a matter of fact, I'm waiting for my flight to Phnom Penh when I started writing this piece.

Cambodia gained more international attention since portions of the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider were shot in several of its temple ruins. A couple of the filming locations can be seen in my previous posts: Angkor Thom and Bayon. These locations are in Siem Reap, approximately 6 hours away by bus from Phnom Penh, the capital. The latter is where my third home and most of the business & central government offices are located.

One of the choice of postcards sent out to friends around the world

There isn't much touristic sites here in Phnom Penh. There is however, a captivating good mix of Khmer and French architecture. Here are some of the distinguished buildings, standing out from the rest of the concrete structures. 

One of the choice of postcards sent out to friends around the world

When Siem Reap offers beautiful temple ruins, the buildings in Phnom Penh complete the storytelling about the tumultuous history of Cambodia. The country has many stories to tell from being once a powerful religious kingdom, a French protectorate, the Khmer Rouge, alliance with the Vietnamese, its rise from the conflicts and wars, and the journey towards stability. On the postcard below: The Cambodia-Vietnam Monument, The Independence Monument, The Choeung Ek Genocidal House, Leader of Cambodia Buddhism - Samdech Choun Nath, the Knotted Gun Monument.
 
One of the choice of postcards sent out to friends around the world

In addition to the monuments, one of the places that draw the curiosity of visitors to the capital is the Royal Palace. The complex serves as the resident of the royalty and also houses a collection of precious items that are distinctively Khmer. 

Postcard sent to self from Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Sent 18 Oct 2016, Traveled 1,148 km

Life in Phnom Penh is more relaxed and slower than Singapore. There is however, no established proper mass transportation system which I found annoying at times. There are no trains nor buses to go around quickly from one place to another around the city. For most of the residents, they own a scooter and the more affluent has huge big cars (always fascinating to watch this contrast while on the road). There is also of course the tuktuk, their local variation of the motorized rickshaw. A comprehensive guide of moving and living in Cambodia can be found on the same link for the tuktuk. I would say that it's a nice country to live in for a couple of years if you're curious about discovering more about its history & culture and mixing with a population on its journey towards globalisation. One needs an open mind though as the daily local life is totally different from the experiences of being a tourist. I really wouldn't mind completely relocating. I need huge savings though in order to do so as local employment doesn't pay too much in order to keep a lifestyle as in Singapore!

This is probably one of my longer entries for the linky party by far ... I hope it isn't a tedious read for the weekend.

Cheers from Phnom Penh,
~maria




Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Flowers from India and Romania


These two flower stamps came with one of my most recently received postcards. Part of the Bouquet for Children issue of Chennai Post (India) in 3 September 2013, the sheet of 12 designs aimed to bring children in the cities the flowers that are mostly only seen in the villages and the forests. I really like that these two flowers allows us to see more inside into the flowers' anatomy.


These two stamps from Romania make me curious with the clocks featured alongside each. It made sense to me when I read that these two are part of a Flower's Clock. The time on the clock's face reveals the hour that the flower blooms. For sunflower is 9 AM and the viper's grass is 7 AM. Both of the clocks on these two stamps were manufactured in France in the 19th century -- a P. Bonnet and P. Pottier portico clock and a table clock, respectively. The rest of the stamps on this  25 January 2013 issue can be found here

For more flowers featured on stamps from around the world, check out the linky party @ See it on a postcard.

~maria






Friday, March 17, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 29: France

Private Swap, Sent by Ulla
Sent on 12 December 2012, Traveled 10,897 km

For our theme this weekend, I'm sharing postcards from France - one among the many countries that I wish to visit. This card is special as it was written and sent to me on 12.12.12. It shows the French tri-color flag and different UNESCO World Heritage Sites. France is 4th in rank in ascending order of Spain, China, and Italy for countries with the most number of world heritage sites.

Direct Swap, Sent from Lyon
Traveled 10,747 km in 6 days

Lyon, a city that is in the UNESCO WHS for culture has always been on my list of a specific city that I want to explore. My partner is from this place. It is in the south of France and the third biggest French city next to Paris and Marseille.

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent by Wan
Traveled 10,747 km

This is a postcard he sent me from Lyon back in 2011 I believe. It was sent in an envelope together with stamps from his collection. On this card that I received from him 6 years ago when we're yet to be a couple, he wrote: Here is a postcard from Lyon, my parents' place as I promised ... I'm sure you'll get to visit it someday just like the French Riviera. And hopefully you'll have a nice guide (myself ;-) ) This year in the summer, we'll travel to France together. Reading about the historic places just in Lyon alone, I can't wait to board the plane for France!

Happy weekend everyone,
~maria







Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Dia Del Galeon Festival 2010 Commemorative Stamps


The theme this weekend for the Sunday Stamps is maps. I'm stretching out the theme a bit with this sheet since only a portion of the land mass outlines are actually within the perforations of the stamps.

This commemorative sheet was issued by the Philippine Postal Corporation on 8 October 2010. Galleon is a Spanish word that means a sailing ship. Originally the purpose of these ships are for war but later on these were used for trade. Dia means day. The entire phrase translated to English is Day of the Galleon.On these stamps are images of the Manila galleons. In October 2009, UNESCO recognized the unique part played by the Manila galleons in conducting trade and cultural exchange between the Philippines and Europe. 

More information about the galleon trade can be found here and here.

Hop over to See it on a postcard for more stamps featuring maps this weekend.

~maria



Friday, March 10, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 28: Japan

The theme for this weekend is from a country you have visited or a favorite place in your country that you have visited. I'm sharing postcards for the former.

Last November 2016, I traveled to Japan with my partner and four other friends. Our first destination was the old capital of Japan, Kyoto.

Postcard sent to self from Kyoto, Japan
13 November 2016, Traveled 5,368 km

I would admit that I was faked in a kinda ignorant way by women walking around in kimono. I thought these are real Japanese women who roam around as part of their local tourism board initiatives. But then, I came to a realization that many of them are tourists who have rented a kimono for the day. Many boutiques offer such experience including photo shoots.

JP-905949, Sent from Saitama, Japan
Traveled 5,368 km in 17 days

I can still remember how delighted I was when I received this postcard and the explanation behind the photo back in December 2016. This was one of the fishes we were wondering about the name when we're in our Japan holiday. It's a narrow and long fish with not much flesh but very tasty. It was explained by the postcard sender that this fish is locally called as autumn sword fish or sanma. Its common name is Pacific saury.

Postcard sent to self from Nikko, Japan
16 November 2016, Traveled 5,368 km

Nikko, our second destination in Japan is a town renowned for lavishly decorated shrines and temples. On this postcard is the heavily decorated Yomei-mon Gate at the Toshogu Shrine. It was under renovation and covered by scaffolding and while plastic drapes when we were there. Nonetheless, the rest of the place was equally astonishing. More details about this UNESCO WHS can be found here

Postcard sent to self from Tokyo, Japan
20 November 2016, Traveled 5,368 km

Our third and final destination was the bustling and busy capital city of Tokyo. The atmosphere was a stark contrast with that of Kyoto and Nikko. Tokyo was a maze of tall buildings, colorful neon lights at night, and people on the go regardless of the time of the day. 

Japan was a balance of relaxation with the charm of the old world in Kyoto and Nikko, and adventure with the action-filled urban atmosphere of Tokyo.

Happy weekend everyone! Looking forward, as always, to see the postcards you're sharing for this weekend's theme.

~maria





Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Roosters or Chickens

The year 2017 according to the Chinese calendar is the Year of the Rooster. This stamp was released by the Japan Post on 1 November 2016. The central design is a Kurashiki Hariko rooster. Kurashiki Hariko is a papier mache, traditional craft from Okayama Prefecture. It is special for being all parts of the papier mache are handmade by craftsmen. There is a shorter version of this stamp, which can be found here.

To view other stamps featuring roosters and chickens, check out the page See it on a Postcard.

~maria


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 27: Philippines

For this month of March is pretty much theme inclusive. However, the objective is to give a focus for a specific country of your origin, previous destination, and dream destinations. Given the possibility that there's a wish to split the postcards from your own country into two weekends' postings, this is possible for the weekend of March 4 and 11.

As some of you may know, I visited my home country last weekend -- Philippines: 



My hometown is in the turtle-shaped island, south of the mainland Luzon. If you look closely, you will see marked on the island of Mindoro is a coastal town of Puerto Galera. I spent the weekend there with my family hoping to enjoy the sea, the sun, and the beach. I was looking forward into visiting nearby islets for snorkeling as the area is known to be among the best coral snorkeling sites in the country. Alas! The weather was uncooperative.


I really longed for a similar experience from Feb 2013 in another island, Palawan. It is an island that resembles the shape of a closed umbrella, southwest of Mindoro.


It's a great destination for island-hopping ...


... and I really missed a good ride with the waves on a small boat (banca) like this:


I'm very curious on what postcards each of the participants for our Postcards for the Weekend linky party are sharing this weekend. Let's please take a moment to appreciate one another's effort to pick and share postcards by leaving even just a short comment when we view the pages of each of the participants. 

Happy weekend everyone,
~maria

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Northern Hemisphere


I've read in one website that 90% of the Earth's population are in the northern hemisphere. It's logical as it is because of the land mass concentration.

For the northern hemisphere theme for Sunday Stamps this week, here are stamps from China -- the most populous country on Earth. The stamp design on the left is from the Huangmei Opera set of 3. The two other designs and the description of the series can be found here. On the right is of the Prime Minister Zhuge Liang. This design is called Devotion to Service. Information about the rest of the sheet can be found here. For the prime minister, here.

Postcards for the weekend 26: Serenity

This post is quite early for this upcoming weekend. I am anticipating intermittent internet access. I will be in my home island for a delayed birthday celebration with my family.

FR-764739, Sent from Rennes, France
Traveled 11,043 km in 13 days
For the serenity theme this weekend, I've chosen first this card -- a woman with a tranquil countenance in her senior years,


RU-5218172, Sent from St. Petersburg, Russia
Traveled 8,974 km in 20 days
finding serenity in solitude; the liberty to be still, enjoy a good calming cup of tea, meditate, or slowly read a good book with lighted scented candles nearby, and

Sent by myself from Santorini, Greece
in renewing faith in each deep breath we take while witnessing the beauty of creation.

Have a great weekend everyone and I sincerely would like to express my gratitude to all bloggers and friends who have been very creative with the postcards shared for our themes this month of February.

Cheers,
~maria


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Eastern Hemisphere


Received in three different occasions, I'm happy to discover that I have all four stamps from the miniature sheet called Art Post 20--15. It was released by the Finland Posti on 11 September 2015. The four designs are by the creative agency Vanhatapio and Saksi. The theme for the designs are "cinematic and literary references that allow the imagination to create the set and setting for events".

Click on See it on a Postcard to discover what other participants shared for the theme, eastern hemisphere.

~maria

Friday, February 17, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 25: Gratitude

Searching for postcards to share for this weekend's theme reminded me of the interconnectivity of these four themes I've chosen for this month of February. Please forgive me if the cards might seem redundant with the emotions they convey ...


NL-2055263, sent from Den Haag, The Netherlands
Traveled 10,451 km in 15 days
...gratitude for receiving attention



UA-1478123, sent from Kharkov, Ukraine
Traveled 8,316 km in 17 days
...gratitude for being outside in nature under the warmth of the sun


Direct Swap, sent from Munich, Germany
...gratitude for having food and drinks on the table 


NL-3556071, sent from Volendam, The Netherlands
Traveled 10,517 km in 17 days
...gratitude for seeing and receiving a present from a good friend.

Happy weekend everyone and looking forward into seeing your postcards,
~maria

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Western hemisphere

According to reference.com, the United States of America is always included in the list of western hemisphere countries since such a small portion lies in the eastern hemisphere. As such for my contribution to Sunday Stamps this weekend, I'm sharing USA stamps I received with famous American personalities from the field of literature and performing arts.


Top row, L-R

1973 August 13 8 cents stamp, Robinson Jeffers
A poet and an icon of the environmental movement

2015 September 18 Forever USA, Paul Newman
An actor and philanthropist

2011 April 11 Forever USA, Charlton Heston
An actor and political activist

2015 April 7 Forever USA, Maya Angelou
A poet and civil rights activist

Bottom row, L-R

1998 July 15 32 c. Mahalia Jackson
A gospel singer and civil rights activist

2013 May 15 Forever USA, Lydia Mendoza
A pioneer of American-Mexican music

2013 September 23 Forever USA, Ray Charles
The pioneer of the music genre, soul 

2013 June 05 Forever USA, Johnny Cash
One of the most influential musicians of the 20th century

~maria

Friday, February 10, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 24: Love

Private Swap, Sent from JM Aalten, The Netherlands
Sent 21 Sep 2011, Traveled 10,374 km 

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

I don't have the words to describe these gestures of love and affection ...

Lovely weekend everyone,
~maria




Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sunday Stamps: Southern hemisphere


The four themes for this month of February for Sunday Stamps hosted by Sanna @ See It On A Postcard challenge my geographical recall ... pretty exciting! The first theme is southern hemisphere. According to wiki, the entire mainland of Australia is in the southern hemisphere. 

One of the iconic Australian animals is the platypus (Ornithorhynchus atatinus). On the 2016 issue above, it's shown against a background of its native foliage. 

Integral to the Australian identity, too is surfing. The 2013 stamp is one of four domestic base-rate (60 cents) commemorative issued for the 50th Anniversary of Surfing Australia.

Again, according to wiki, Chinese Australians are one of the largest groups of overseas Chinese people and largest in Oceania as of 2011. For Chinese people around the world, the Lunar New Year begins on 28 January for 2017. Australia Post issued two Christmas Island Year of the Fire Rooster stamps this year. The $1 stamp is above and the other one, $3 stamp can be seen here

Head over to Sanna's page for more stamps from the southern hemisphere.

~maria



Friday, February 3, 2017

Postcards for the weekend 23: Happiness


For more than 20 weeks, we have seen creative twists with the theme interpretations. I would love to mention each and every notable ones I've seen. I'm afraid this post won't fit on this page at all though if I do so! In line with that observation, I decided to be more inclusive for the themes this month of February. I realized it might be quite challenging, but let's see what are the postcards the four chosen emotions will bring us. To start with -- HAPPINESS.


The Red Clover Fairy, Private Swap
Sent from Russia, Traveled for 20 days

Aside from being in the company of love ones and friends, I noticed that I'm very happy whenever I'm surrounded by nature. My job needs me to talk and listen with many different people most of the time. Nature does not ask that of me; listening to its sounds is voluntarily ... for the talking part, I guess I kind of do self-talk whenever I see something queer or fascinating. Overall, it's a rush of happiness whenever I see colorful birds, butterflies, dragonflies, beautiful blooms, huge and ancient trees whenever I go for nature walks. At some places, the foliage is the same as my last visit. Regardless, the great experience remains the same!

NL-1307269, Sent from The Netherlands
Traveled 10,333 in 60 days

For this theme of happiness, I'm sharing these three reproductions of Mary Cicely Barker postcards. It's impressive how happiness is reflected on the faces of each fairy on the postcards. And oh, that youthfulness! My partner told me that he often notices that I'm the happiest whenever we do something outdoors in nature. Well, it always give me the sense of adventure and freedom -- best cure for anxiety!

The Black Bryony Fairy, NL-2110239
Sent from The Netherlands, Traveled 10,348 km in 10 days

I hope these postcards are able to make you happy, too!

Cheers,
~maria